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The micro-physics of Öffentlichkeit?: Habermas, Foucault, and the administration of democratic space in the Palais-Royal, 1789-1790

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Jürgen Habermas's concept of the 'public sphere' continues to be profoundly influential among historians, despite reservations about its applicability. The influence of Michel Foucault, although wide, has not impacted in the same areas of 'mainstream' histories. A micro-study of the 'public space' of the Palais-Royal in Paris during the first year of the French revolution illustrates the continuing relevance of Foucault's views. The complexities of the identity of 'the public' in the foremost centre of revolutionary open-air discussion challenge any smooth integration into a narrative of modernity, and offer more support for a Foucaultian view of history as problematic flux.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-166
Number of pages22
JournalCultural and Social History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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